31 August 2008

Sarah Palin's Sportscasting Past

As people try to fill in the void filled by "who on earth is Sarah Palin," I'm sure a number of these videos will come about. And judging by this old video above, Governor Sarah Palin's oratory skills haven't changed much over the years. Here's one true gem: "There's Tommy Lasorda - he needs to learn to relax a bit." She'll be perfect on the campaign trail.

28 August 2008

Your Dreams Of Being Like Jim Tressel Just Got A Wee Bit Easier

Earlier in the year we learned how Trojan faithful could be a little more like Pete Carroll. But what are the odds Carroll actually wears those shirts? Real fans want to dress just like their favorite coaches. Then want to be like them, and dress like them. Now Ohio State fans can pretend to be coach Jim Tressel so much easier now that the officially licensed Ohio State Sweater Vest T-Shirt is available to all.

The idea of the OSU Sweater Vest T-Shirt materialized during the 2006 football season...we realized how fortunate we are to have Coach Tressel lead our team onto the field every Saturday and represent our beloved University. He is a class act, revered throughout the nation not just for his wins and losses, but for the way he represents the Ohio State University.

During his tenure as head coach of the Buckeyes, he has become famous for wearing a sweater vest and tie on the sidelines - unlike any other coach in the nation. He is so synonymous with this image, that fans mimic this look every gameday. The OSU Sweater Vest T-Shirt is just a simple idea that we feel can help unify students, alumni, parents, kids, and fans from all over in support of our great coach and University.
This might be the smartest way to show one’s Ohio State loyalty. The players might be the stars, but they come and go in a matter of years. If you buy a Chris Wells replica jersey it has an expiration date – before long it’ll be a throwback. Tressel is the one with potential to last forever, and this shirt allows you to live and root with him (you might want to buy a size bigger to account for your inevitable weight-gain). All for a mere $20!

Once you’ve procured the Sweater Vest shirt you’ll undoubtedly need the officially licensed Sweater Vest Bottle Koozie. There’s no indication that Tressel drinks while watching football, or that he drinks at all. But you probably do. And thus you’ll need the koozie as well. The ability to be a die-hard Ohio State fan in style just got a lot easier. Are you game, Buckeyes fans?

27 August 2008

A Turf Party - It’s Sort Of Like Watching Grass Grow

There are big happenings on the campus of UT-Martin! Classes started this past Monday, and, the mighty Skyhawks have installed FieldTurf on their football field. The new playing surface cost $750,000, and the school is the first in Tennessee to put it in. Exciting stuff, right?

Well, I didn’t think so. But then again I’m not a die-hard UT-Martin Skyhawks fan. They held what must now be described as a “Turf Party.”

Students, faculty and the local community all showed up Monday at Graham Stadium on the campus of U of Tennessee-Martin. The reason wasn't just to get ready for the upcoming season (the Skyhawks' home opener is September 6 against Baker University). No, the locals were there to stare and feel the $750,000 FieldTurf that had recently been installed. 
Party on, Skyhawks fans!
"I think it's fabulous," said UTM fan John Abel. "It is great that the community can come out here and actually play on the turf just to see how it feels."
So, did it end up feeling just like grass? The manufacturer is eagerly awaiting your confirmation, John. Maybe the Skyhawks will win some games this season. Then their fans will have a reason to have a real party.

25 August 2008

This Man Wants To Remind You That He Is NOT Michael Phelps

Despite the slight resemblance to Michael Phelps, former British Olympic swimmer Steve Parry is NOT Michael Phelps. The real question is - - why wouldn’t you want to pass off as Phelps for a few days? It might make for some interesting tales...

21 August 2008

The Landing Pad Ate The Pole Vaulter

The dog may not have eaten the homework, but it does appear as though the landing pad has devoured this now potentially “former” pole vaulter. Good thing pole vaulting is about the jump, not the landing.

(Photo Credit: Marc Aspland/Times Online)

Barbie Fishing Rods Are Tougher Than You Think

There’s a popular section in a not too scholarly magazine entitled “They’re Just Like Us,” where they do normal human activities. And now the same can be said for record holding fisherman. Sort of.

David Hayes of North Carolina is now owns the state record for channel catfish after reeling one in weighing 21 pounds, 1 ounce. And he caught it using his 3-year-old granddaughter’s pink Barbie fishing rod. The granddaughter asked him to just hold it for a second. Instead he hauled in a record catch.

First off, who knew that Barbie fishing rods even existed? And while they might be dainty and pink, it’s pretty clear they’re well-made and sturdy. These are serious instruments! Even the granddaughter was surprised the fishing rod held up against the 21+ pounder.

"Papa, you're going to break my fishing rod," she told him.
"Wait until you see what I've got on the other end of this rod," he said.
The prize catch currently resides in Hayes’ freezer, and is soon to be mounted on a wall. But shouldn’t it be Barbie that gets the real recognition here? I doubt it will happen, but it would be great to see a pink Barbie fishing rod at the next big tournament, wouldn’t it?

(Photo Credit: N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission)

19 August 2008

Adult Diapers Key To Opening Ceremony Success

There’s no doubt that Beijing’s opening ceremony was a tremendous feat. Save for a little bit of lip-synching, it was a great spectacle. Yet it wasn’t without a lot of hard work too. The 15,000-odd cast and crew survived rain-drenched conditions, head stroke, 16-hour days, paralysis, and a 51-hour rehearsal. And, um, diapers.

In the Olympic ceremony segment showcasing the Chinese invention of movable type, the nearly 900 performers who crouched under 40-pound boxes donned adult diapers to allow them to stay inside for at least six hours, Beijing organizers said.
The pain and sacrifices were well worth it, right? The ceremony organizers sure thought so. In fact, in their eyes only the North Koreans could have done a better job. Whatever that means.

But back to the diapers. Talk about commitment. I might be able to stand a 51-hour rehearsal and heat stroke. I might even be able to do paralysis for my country. But diapers? That’s where I’d draw the line. You’ve got to imagine a soiled adult diaper makes for poor performing conditions though (wouldn't you think...). Good thing I wasn’t part of the group, as the performers seemed pretty darn satisfied.
"All the tears, the sweat, and sometimes even blood that we shed, I now think it was quite worth it," said Ren Yang, 17, also of the Tagou school. "When we performed that night, all that I could feel in my heart was joy. Pure joy."
Pure Joy. I think I’ve found the name for my new line if adult diapers.

This Home Run Derby Lacking In Home Runs

 The New York-Penn League held their annual All-Star game on Tuesday night along with a pre-game Home Run Derby. Good times for all, indeed. Except for those who came to witness home runs. They could have used NY-Penn alum Josh Hamilton in these parts, as homers were few and far between.

With a stiff wind blowing from left to right, the contingent of eight New York-Penn League All-Stars did manage to combine for all of five homers in 85 swings.
Auburn Doubledays DH Adam Amar “won” the derby. And he hit two out of the park.

The NY-Penn League is a short-season Class A league, so I guess there’s lots of room for improvement. But 5 total homers? Really? That’s it? This is what happens when performance-enhancing drugs leave the game. A homerless home run derby. Just think about that.

18 August 2008

Is It Just Me?

Or does Hungarian runner Barbara Petrahn (upper left-hand corner) look somewhat out of place in a women’s race. It might be the track or the shadowing. Or it might just be that the gender testing lab let one slip through the cracks. Either way, Petrahn came in fourth in her first round heat, and didn’t qualify for the next round. Still, the photo makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Potentially Scary Photo Credit: Jack Gruber/Gannett News Service

Women Against Fantasy Sports – Whodathunkit?

It’s the middle of August, which means that football season is tantalizingly close. August also brings the beginning of Fantasy Football, and the endless ranking of players, live drafts, auto-drafts, trades, waiver picks, and endless strategizing. A private research group estimates that U.S. employers will lose $9.2 billion in lost work due to Fantasy Football, but employers aren’t the only ones to suffer. There’s also the wives/girlfriends/domestic partners/etc who lose out as well. And thus Women Against Fantasy Sports was established.

WomenAgainstFantasySports, or WAFS, was started by a woman with a dream. A dream that, as promised in the wedding vows she shared with her husband, would involve the daily joys of spending time with her best friend, her confidant, her love. Alas, the advent of fantasy sports has crushed her hopes and desires, thereby making her a widow 2 months out of each year. In coping, she has found refuge in the world wide web – a place where she can share her griefs, her pains, and her story with other widows. (Thanks for providing the platform, Mr. Gore).
Women of America, behold a site you can all get behind. It can be a place that understands your “real” needs, and understands where you’re coming from. A place where you can spend your time while we play our fantasy sports. And thanks to this place women nationwide will finally understand and appreciate the significance of drafting of a franchise player. It’s really a tool for them to help us.

Who Needs A Glove When You’ve Got A Beer?

The argument is often made that grown men shouldn’t bring gloves to a ballgame. I happen to disagree. But if I was able to catch with a beer or soda like this guy, then I guess it would be a moot argument.

(This video might be a few months old, but it’s still amazing)

13 August 2008

Bill Belichick Is All-Knowing

Bill Belichick is many things. He’s smart, successful, and a little bit creepy too. In fact, it’s hard to imagine there’s anything about him that we don’t already know. Think again, though. We must add “all-knowing” to the list. Or so it seems.

Take Tuesday’s practice, where the Patriots were conducting a full-squad no-huddle drill. Nothing would escape Belichick’s eagle eye.

On one sideline catch by Randy Moss, which he initially ruled incomplete, he changed his mind based on instant replay. Of course, there was no replay machine out at the practice. [Emphasis Added]
If ever there was a question on how firm Belichick’s grip on the team was, this probably sums it up. He doesn't need any machine to tell him what's what.  Bill Belichick is his own instant replay machine.   Like you'd really expect anything else.  And to that end, I wonder how often he’s been right on real instant replay challenges. The all-knowing one must have a pretty good percentage. Either way, let’s make sure to put that on his tombstone.

Malaysia’s Olympic Team Is Seemingly Filled With Transformers Robots

Don’t be too confused by the above Olympics promo for Malaysian TV station Astro. It only appears that the Transformers are playing for Malaysia this summer. They’ve got too many tests to let them slip into the games. And, of course, they’d probably have more than zero medals if they did.  I'd like to see Michael Phelps compete against these guys!  

12 August 2008

Olympic Weightlifting: Don't Try This At Home

If you've got a weak stomach look away now.  Especially you, Joe Theismann.  Hungarian Weightlifter Janos Baranyai did something to his right arm as he was competing in the Group B men's 77kg category on Wednesday in Beijing. Baranyai was taken to the hospital, and withdrew from the competition.  Here's guessing he won't be lifting much of anything for a while.  Let's all hope he gets better soon.  

(Photo Credits: Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Why So Serious, Beijing Police? Smile!

 The Beijing Police force has a lot to be concerned about. Aside from protecting the 11+ million residents of the city they’re also in charge of the safety of the 11,028 Olympians competing and the many thousands more of guests. That’s a tall order for any force, with the murder of a US Olympic Team family member exhibiting how one act can change the mood of the entire games. But as the games unfold the Beijing Police is getting some criticism, and it’s not just because of the crime.

IOC Marketing Commission Chairman Gerhard Heiberg has a beef, and he doesn’t think he’s alone. The Beijing Police are too grim. The Norwegian Heiberg thinks that more smiling is in order.

The thousands of volunteers on the streets of Beijing are helpful and smiling, Heiberg told the Norwegian daily Aftenposten. "The police and military, on the other hand, need to act differently. Their faces look like they are made of stone. They're seriously scaring the foreigners in Beijing. The fact that they're armed and look sinister just makes things worse. That's why I've talked to China's political authorities and the Olympics organizers at our daily meetings. I've asked them to get people to smile more," the former athlete said.
I’m not sure that smiling and welcoming attitudes from police have ever encouraged lax behavior, but I’m fairly certain strict and intimidating ones do prevent and deter. This isn’t democracy, after all. Do Olympic visitors expect to be greeted with milk and cookies? Who cares what they look like – they’re doing their job.

While There's No Crying In Baseball, Double Trap Shooting Is Another Story

The famous saying goes that there’s no crying in baseball. In Double Trap Shooting? That’s another story. Witness Italian Francesco D'Aniello wail away after winning the silver medal. And I do mean wail.  What would he have done had he won the Gold???  But they might not have been tears of joy.

Not long after winning the silver, D’Aniello tried to become a charity case – or something like that. Italy, like many other countries, pays its medalists a bonus. D’Aniello will get one too, but he doesn’t want to pay taxes on it.

"I would sincerely hope that the (Italian) parliament would pass this law," D'Aniello told a news conference when asked about the taxation back home, a question and answer translated from Italian back and forth through Chinese and English."We athletes go through major sacrifices to get to this level. It would be the right thing to do to remove the taxes from what we get here. It would be a very good thing," he said, without stating the value of the reward.
Beggars can’t be choosers. But I guess beggars don’t often win Olympic medals either. And if they did, they probably wouldn’t mind paying the tax either...

11 August 2008

For His Country, Carmelo Sacrifices His Groin

When not wondering why Yao Ming never seems to deliver in any big game, ponder over the above picture. Carmelo Anthony takes it to Yao for a bucket in the paint. The question is - - is two points worth a giant knee to the groin? Carmelo’s never going to take a bullet for his country. But it looks like he can take a knee.

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)